The senior and junior football season ended in heartache last Friday night as both teams lost in the B Championship finals. The senior Lancers fell 27-25 to the Jacob Hespeler Hawks, while the juniors lost an equally close match 18-15 to the Eastwood Rebels.
Both games were played Nov. 19 at St. David Catholic Secondary School in Waterloo.
“We just didn’t look prepared at the start of the game, that’s for sure. The first half killed us,” said junior coach Dave Munroe, whose team committed six turnovers and trailed 18-0 after the first half.
“We knew the plays and everything – I think it was nerves more so than anything else. Once we settled down in the second half we did well, but they won their half by more than we won ours.”
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The junior squad was a young team this year, consisting of mostly Grade 9s and a few Grade 10s. Munroe expects about 70 per cent of the team to return next year, which should bode well for the 2011 season. This year’s team showed that inexperience early in the season, however, and finished with a 2-5 record, but came on strong in the playoffs, only to lose in a close final.
“They were disappointed, they know that we had the opportunity (to win a championship) and they let it slip away […] but some of the Grade 9s are already talking about next year, which is good to see.”
With the opportunity to perform well again next year due to so many returning players, Munroe said he plans to hold a spring training camp.
“We’ve never done that at the end of the school year, and we’ll see what the talent is like. Players get bigger and faster over the year, especially in junior.”
The senior Lancers matched the struggles of the junior squad in their game against Jacob Hespeler.
They committed three turnovers in the first half and a fourth in the second half, and wound up
losing 27-25 after a failed two-point conversion with the clock winding down.
“In general it was a very successful season and all the kids seemed very happy,” said coach Steve Karn, adding that injuries played a major role in the teams disappointing 1-6 record this season.
“The quarterback we had playing our last four games had never played before and he stepped in and did an amazing job.”
Like the juniors, the senior team should have a strong core of returning players; Karn said they are only losing five or six of their players, and with the success of the junior team this year, the players coming up to senior should be that much better.
“We have a lot of high hopes and take a lot away from this season. I’ve think we’ve made some big strides getting football off the ground here in Elmira.”